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thomasphoto60
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Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 22, 2002 11:49 am

For some time now I have been singing the praises of HAS (Houston Airport Systems) logical and level headed additude towards photography and just good ol' fashion plane spotting. Well it appears that those days are coming to an ende here as well.

The link below says it all!

http://home.houston.rr.com/nateshelle/YS.jpg

This photo was taken this evening by a local spotter. I have sent an e-mail to a contact high up at HAS, in order to get the real story behind what is happening. I have maintained a correspondence with this individual on a regular basis since the attack, so he will not give me a run around. I probaby will not hear from until Monday and regardless of what I hear I will keep you all aprised.

However I am bracing myself for bad news.

Whatever the verdict is, I have had a great ride.

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
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JeffM
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 22, 2002 12:05 pm

Sorry to see it Thomas.

I think if it happens here in Denver, I am going to take my camera and long lens and just stand around in the terminal and start taking pictures of all the security guards goofing off. Then I am going to send them to the local news channel every day. They have one of those "investigative" reporters that just love it when something stupid is being done, and someone's rights are being infringed upon.

Jeff

 
thomasphoto60
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 22, 2002 12:18 pm

Well before I pass judgement, I wait and see what HAS's feedback is on this. It is my belief however like MCO and FLL it was probably not the brass at HAS who decided this, rather a vote grabbing city council'person' trying to make brownie points with the local voters. HAS for the most part has gone out of it's way to maintain positive relations with the local enthusiast community and many are rabid spotters as well.

I suppose we will have to wait and see.......I certainly plan to make a few more visits before the shut down on Friday the 3rd.

One hell of a X-Mas present...eeeh?

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
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Scooter
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 22, 2002 12:29 pm

In reality, the closing of these spotting locations (IAH, MCO, FLL, etc) is not going to stop us from taking pictures. Fine, put up your fences, and I'll stand 10 feet away on the other side of the road and get the same shots.

Unfortunately, we'll just have to adapt.

But still, this is getting nuts. Commercial aviation photography is one of my biggest passions right now (and has been for years), but it's getting downright frustrating to feel like a criminal every time I whip out my camera. It frustrates the HELL out of me the way people in the US accept these "cosmetic" (completely useless) approaches to security without dealing with the core of the problem.

I'm so frustrated that I've been seriously trying to find another hobby so I can pull myself away from this crap. Unfortunately, aviation photography is what I keep coming back to, and it's what I want to continue doing.

This sucks.




My name is Scott, and I am addicted to writing obnoxiously-detailed trip reports.
 
tailgunner
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 22, 2002 12:44 pm

Thomasphoto
if it such a security issue,why are they waiting 2 weeks to close the area?the times we live in are getting pretty weird
tailgunner
 
thomasphoto60
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 22, 2002 12:54 pm

Tailgunner,

I thought that strange myself which is one reason why I waiting to hear from my HAS contact before I make statemets that I may later regret. Who knows, maybe they are going to renovate it even pave it..........not likely but you never know!

I planning an early morning trip tomorrow to the other viewing area off Rankin tomorrow to see if a similar sign has been posted there as well.

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
AA 777
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 22, 2002 12:54 pm

thomasphoto,

Where is that located at IAH? Is it Rankin Road?

AA 777
Matt
CRJ-700 FO
 
thomasphoto60
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 22, 2002 1:03 pm

Matt,

IAH has 2 viewing areas. The one that is slated for closeure is off of Lee Rd. This is the normal area to view arriving aircraft onto 27. The other area is to the west of the field that is off Rankin Rd. I am going to run by there tomorrow morning to see if a similar sign has been posted.

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
Dazed767
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 22, 2002 1:42 pm

Thomas, sorry to hear the bad news. I know exactly how frustrated you are right now. Keep us posted..

Rgds from an almost dead MCO  Sad ,
JC
 
Dazed767
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 22, 2002 1:51 pm

It hurts to think how life would be if 9-11 never happened. Enjoy life today guys, it seems like everyday a little peice of our freedom is fenced off, closed down or blocked off.

I have a bad feeling this is only going to get worse....
 
tpk
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 22, 2002 1:56 pm

Interesting (and not quite so friendly) parallel discussion going on in the Civil Aviation forum...

https://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/989524/
 
aagold
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 22, 2002 2:02 pm

It really is getting ridiculous. False measures to make it appear as if security has been improved when, in reality, these measures do nothing to guarantee the safety of the traveling public.

I'm suffering just like the rest of you, especially here at Newark since there aren't many viewing areas available that aren't on airport property. But I have to laugh when I see measures like this being taken in the name of security and safety. Several months back, I believe August, I flew out of Newark one Sunday afternoon. On board I read my paper and right there on page 3, a headline story, was an article about all of the dangerous materials in and around the New York Metro area. Not only was it in written word, there was also a map with each plant's location, the dangerous materials stored there, and a circle showing the estimated danger area if the plant was attacked and the chemicals released in the air. Why not just mail detail plans to the terrorists? Have they stopped such articles from being printed? No! Can they stop it? Probably not. But they can give us photographers pursuing our hobby a hard time and get away with it. And, the sad part, is that in the end what they are doing does nothing at all to insure the safety of the traveling public.

Art

 
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Bruce
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 22, 2002 2:03 pm

Thomas, I was just there this week!! That is indeed terrible news. Houston offered the best viewing and I really enjoyed it. I'm glad I went and not delayed it till next year!!!! If it really is true then we need to do a petition drive just like FLL. This is too good of a photo spot to let some power-hungry council-person close.

bruce
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
EGFF
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 22, 2002 6:17 pm

"I think if it happens here in Denver, I am going to take my camera and long lens and just stand around in the terminal and start taking pictures of all the security guards goofing off"

Spot on Jeff .... it's a real shame when it comes to this, many condolences Thomas  Sad
Regards
Shaun
All together or not at all
 
rindt
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 22, 2002 6:27 pm

Thank god for YVR... Big grin


-Rob

What other people think of you is none of your business!
 
Alaskaairlines
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 22, 2002 7:22 pm

Hope things turn out the good way Thomas - getting tougher.

And I can add - Thanks God for ANC!

-Dmitry
 
F27
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 22, 2002 8:05 pm

Glad it has not gotten that bad here in Australia yet. But if our PM has his own way it will not be long till it is the same as the USA. The deputy so called PM is no better.
 
L-188
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 22, 2002 8:12 pm

I don't know if I have that much faith in Mort Plumb here in ANC, Dimitry. Things did get a little stupid here back when they closed down Pt Woronzof road at nights last winter.

Before you know it we are all going to end up trying to take photo's of aircraft departing 32 from Pt. Makenzie!

I wonder what size telephoto lens I would need for that shot.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
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Scooter
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 22, 2002 10:12 pm

Rob Rindt wrote:

"Thank god for YVR... Big grin "

Not to sound harsh, but dude, give us a break. If this was happening in Canada, and not the US, I'm sure you would LOVE to hear this kind teasing from us.

What is happening in the US is very serious, and every aviation photographer is facing the potential of having his/her lifelong passion BANNED. Rob, I know you are a pretty hardcore shooter - how would you feel if you knew you risked getting arrested everytime you went to the airport to take pictures? Sucks, doesn't it?



My name is Scott, and I am addicted to writing obnoxiously-detailed trip reports.
 
donder10
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 22, 2002 10:13 pm

Anybody going to start up an online petition like the one for the FLL viewing area?
 
b757300
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Mon Dec 23, 2002 1:56 am

Bah, like this will really stop someone with a man portable SAM. I still say 90% of airports are run by idiots.
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
CcrlR
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Mon Dec 23, 2002 2:25 am

I would if I was you. They don't know that we will be a big help to the airport and they don't know about it or don't care. We can report suspicious activity and if some of us from out-of town go to IAH(I was thinking of going to Houston)we can spend money on the stores and hotels and other things and at the airport. I think it's really stupid that they are doing this if they should have known that terrorists wouldn't shoot down a plane from the viewing area or around the perimeter. They could do it anywhere, even in a backyard. I remember when I was watching Walter Jacobson's perspective on Fox news and he did a report on how the security guards at the federal buildings in Chicago were sleeping during their night shift and after he showed it on TV and later on those security guards were investigated but his report actually made progress. If he could only do that for us it may do something for us and our hobby.
"He was right, it is a screaming metal deathtrap!"-Cosmo (from the Fairly Oddparents)
 
lgbguy
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Mon Dec 23, 2002 1:00 pm

I hate to say it, but with all the paranoia in this country and the over-reaction by many in politics and law enforcement the folks (we know who they are) from the middle-east have in a sense got what they wanted. Our government is running scared and our freedoms are being taken away slowly but surely all in the name of security.

Yes it seems that unfortunately our governments paranoia is only going to get worse before it gets any better if it ever will.

I'll stop here, I don't want to go on any further on this subject, as I could go on and on as I'm sure many of us could.

lgbguy
 
b757300
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Mon Dec 23, 2002 1:07 pm

The terrorists on Sept. 11th did far more than kill a few thousand people, knock down & damage some buildings, and crash four airliners. They made many Americans into scared little bunny rabbits who think everyone else is a terrorist. The government has reacted no better. I'm just waiting for the day a plane spotter is murdered by an over zealous rent-a-cop. The terrorists won on Sept. 11th far beyond their wildest dreams.
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
Alaskaairlines
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Mon Dec 23, 2002 5:58 pm

Shawn, is the Pt. Woronzof still closed at night? You'd need at least 1000mm from Pt. Mackenzie.  Big grin

I am hoping for the best, even if they did close ANC, I would still photograph, but all GA.

-Dmitry
 
nonrevman
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Tue Dec 24, 2002 10:10 am

I tried to be optimistic a month ago, but it looks like the spotting areas are coming down one by one. That is a real shame to hear about IAH. My wife and our nephews waited in that area before picking me up off a flight. Guess they will have to find a new hobby since they are now considered dangerous to avaition.

My home airport of DFW has a well established viewing area called Founder's Plaza. There is a nice view, parking spaces, some plaques, statues, and a water fountain. There are almost always people there watching the planes. The day they close DFW's area, I will know that it is over.

Little do they know that they are actually making it easier for terrorists to do something since no one will be around to report suspicious activity.
 
USAFHummer
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Wed Dec 25, 2002 2:26 am

First FLL, then MCO, now IAH...looks like this storm of viewing area closures is heading west...this is insanely ridiculous...

Greg
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
 
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United_fan
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Fri Dec 27, 2002 11:26 am

That's sad to hear. I was there during AI2002 and enjoyed it. Hopefully 15R & L spots won't be next. The really sad part is the Hyatt in JFK Blvd has planes fly right over it . If you wanted to do 'it' ,the planes are a lot closer there . I think those who said the closures were from overzealous City Councilpeople lookin for votes is spot on.
Spotting at ROC,as of yesterday,is still okay. Last Dec I was run off like a terrorist from the spot that I sat at for years. Funny thing is nobody cared right after 9-11. Anyways,on thanksgiving I was questioned about why I was there (sitting in my car w/ a scanner). My license plate is now 'on file' with the Sheriffs. So if anyone does something stupid at the airport I 'll get a visit.
Driving past runway 4/22 yesterday made me wonder if they'll someday put up those 20' tall highway noise barriers parallel to the runway ? Hope not,cause then the terrorists will have won.
"Suspicion is a matter of opinion"
 
jhooper
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 29, 2002 2:59 am

Thomasphoto60,

Did you hear back from the folks at HAS or IAH?
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
thomasphoto60
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 29, 2002 4:34 am

Jeremy,

Sadly, no. I am hoping that the lack of response is because of the holidays and that he scheduled some off time then, rather than being ignored as this would be very much out of character for this individual who has always been very prompt to respond to my questions.

I will send another e-mail out Monday and keep my fingers crossed. But at this point, I too am getting a bad feeling.

You might want to make a final visit sometime before the 3rd.

United_Fan (Scott)

I was the one who stated that this was probably a political move on the part of a vot grabbing city council person and I stand by that statement. It's all about the votes........

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
CO777
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 29, 2002 1:47 pm

Thomas, How is the parking garage there in IAH?I was their back in June and had no trouble but now with all this going on I wonder if thats still a safe place to take pics from there.
Jason Whitebird
 
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United_fan
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Sun Dec 29, 2002 3:52 pm

ThomasPhotos60,I sent a couple e-mails last Dec to the Sheriffs and The Airport,but big surprise,nobody responded. Government doesn't give two $hits about our hobby.
"Suspicion is a matter of opinion"
 
thomasphoto60
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Mon Dec 30, 2002 3:57 am

Jason,

This past Thanksgiving (several days before actually) I was flying back to MSP for the holiday, well I got to IAH early for my evening flight in order to get a few late afternoon and dusk shots (beautiful light that day). Anyway while photographing at C, a middle aged couple obviously just arriving and walking to their car were giving me the eye, as they pulled out the woman whipped out a cell phone and about 25 minutes later one of HPDs finest shows up. Long story short she does the usual "Sgt Friday" routine asks for i.d., ect.....but she was very courteous and professional and after looking at my license an old press badge plus a few published and un-published pics she said "I hope you understand why I am doing this" and I of course said , "yes" and then she wished me a safe trip and then drove off.

Bare in mind this was before the Arkia incident, but I do plan another trip to the roofs of A, B, A/B and C sometime next week, so we will see.

United_Fan,

Sadly, you are probably correct in most cases, most local, state and federal govt institutions could not give damn about us. BTW, here in Houston the sheriff's dept has no patrols nor desginated duties at IAH. That is all up to HPD. Unfortunately, it appears no matter what we do, we spotters/photographers will eventually end up losing most if not all of our airport freedoms, especially if another attack against an aircraft in the near future takes place anywhere in the world.

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
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United_fan
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Mon Dec 30, 2002 10:58 pm

As much as we'd like to think that Airport officials would consider us spotters an asset,I highly doubt that they see it that way. I think that they look at anyone hanging around the perimeter is a potential threat. Sad,but true. That way if nobody is around the perimeter , there is no threat.
"Suspicion is a matter of opinion"
 
DSMav8r
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Tue Dec 31, 2002 11:35 am

As long as spotters don't generate any revenue for the airport, authorities and management could care less.  Big grin

I am still optimistic that things will *eventually* improve...The prospects of war, ongoing terrorist concerns, and a paranoid public will prolong things, however. I would find it very difficult to believe that 3-5 years down the line, recent events will be a good enough excuse to keep us from enjoying our hobby (keep in mind how quickly this country forgets). In the mean time, I just visit airports that I know are photographer-friendly and make the most of it. I would rather shoot all day in peace here in Omaha or Minneapolis, than get hassled and frustrated in Orlando or JFK...

AT
To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home
 
jhooper
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Tue Dec 31, 2002 12:40 pm

The thing is...I DO generate revenue for the airport. Usually in the form of parking fees that I've paid to spot at the airport.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
KAL_LM
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RE: Paranoia Comes To IAH.....

Tue Dec 31, 2002 2:38 pm

So far PDX hasn't gotten all nutty. But considering they'd have to close a major arterial (Marine Drive) with businesses and homes on it to block access to the runways I don't think it will happen.

Thomasphoto60,
Sorry to hear this is happening at your place. You're right, it sounds a lot like vote grabbing...and cosmetic, like most of the new "security" measures.

regards,
Tom
is that a light at the end of the tunnel or just a train?

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